UNHCR: Gaps in refugee education

Migrant children receive tablets from an Equal Place representative. PHOTO COURTESY UNHCR -
Migrant children receive tablets from an Equal Place representative. PHOTO COURTESY UNHCR -

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is calling for an international effort to guarantee refugee children and youth have access to primary and secondary education.

In a statement, the agency said the levels of school and university enrolment remain critically low among this minority.

In its 2021 education report – Staying the Course: The challenge facing refugee education – the UNHCR highlighted the stories of young refugees around the world as they try to learn in an era of unprecedented disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The agency gathered data in 40 countries and the gross enrolment rate for refugees at secondary level for the period 2019/2020 stands at 34 per cent.

"Recent progress made in school enrolment of refugee children and youth is now under threat, said UNHCR chief Flippo Grandi.

“Confronting this challenge requires a massive coordinated effort and it is a task we cannot afford to shirk."

In 2019, Equal Place was developed as a temporary solution to offer refugee and migrant children the opportunity to continue their schooling via online platforms NotesMaster and Daware.

As at July, 1400 students are enrolled in this programme which is 32 per cent of the estimated 4400 school-aged refugee and migrant children in Trinidad and Tobago.

Miriam Aertker, UNHCR's head of national office in TT said education is a powerful tool for inclusion and integration of refugees and migrants in a new community."

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"UNHCR: Gaps in refugee education"

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